How To Choose Dog Breeds For Apartment Living

Do you want a dog, but worry about how your pooch will adapt to apartment living? Choose an apartment dog breed, and you won’t have to stress. There are plenty of breeds that are just fine with watching Netflix while you’re at work.  If you’re lucky, you might even get a couple of tail wags when you get home.

Save Money and Stress on Professional Emergency Home Repairs

This post is from guest contributor: Natalie Jones

Ask any homeowner and they will tell you that emergency home repairs are never fun. Many of the most common urgent home issues require the attention of a professional contractor, which can be costly. Prepare yourself for surprise expenses by using these tips to keep your house and your budget protected.           

Prepare Your Personal Budget for Routine Repairs

Before you even buy a home, you should begin making room in your budget for common household repairs. Do some research online to see what routine home repairs could end up costing you, and be sure to include all project costs in your budget planning. You’re going to have to factor in any fees you need to pay to professional contractors as well as for materials, but you should also consider expenses that can be easy to miss.

For example, to keep your belongings from being damaged by dust, tools, or debris during repairs, you may need to think about putting some items in storage. Currently, the typical cost of a self-storage unit rental in Seattle is $92.97, so you may need to add this to your overall project budget. Keeping breakables and irreplaceable furnishings in storage can prevent added stress and costs for you but can also allow contractors to work at a faster pace with a cleared-out space.

You can get a good feel for the costs of common upgrades with a little homework, but you should also consider setting up an urgent home maintenance fund, with a goal of saving at least one percent of the value of your home for unexpected professional home repairs.

Resolve Home Emergencies Without Extreme Costs

Most home emergencies are going to require the skill and expertise of a contractor, so you have to be ready to pay higher costs than DIY repairs. Broken pipes, faulty wiring, and roof leaks (roof repairs generally run between $300 and $1,100) are all repairs that should be handled by licensed, bonded professionals, but there may be some minor emergencies that can be taken care of by a handyman. Understanding the differences between a contractor and handyman could possibly save you hundreds or thousands on smaller home repairs, such as a broken gate or a clogged toilet.

If you do need to hire a licensed plumber, electrician (typically charge $50 – $100 an hour), or another contractor, you can also keep costs low by knowing how to negotiate the best deal. If your repair isn’t urgent, spend some time getting quotes from a few different contractors and be sure to check out research experience and reviews before settling on a price. In those situations where you need repairs done fast, and when your emergency fund will not cover costs, you also need to figure out some smart funding options. If you have equity built up in your home, you may be able to leverage it to get a small loan, but for new homeowners, credit cards with low-interest rates could be your best bet at getting cash in a hurry.

Take Care of Crucial Home Maintenance Tasks

Responsible homeowners should always be financially prepared to cover emergency professional repairs. If you want to cut down on those repairs and expenses in the first place, however, you should be taking care of routine maintenance year-round. One step many homeowners overlook is disconnecting and preparing their outdoor irrigation systems in the winter. Leaving hoses connected and outdoor spigots exposed can result in costly leaks and breaks in your plumbing, so take care to winterize your pipes before freezing temperatures arrive.

Taking care of regular maintenance can also help you avoid issues with your homeowner’s insurance policy because most policies will not cover repairs or damages that are due to homeowner neglect. To tackle most of the maintenance tasks on your list and keep your insurance valid, keep a set of basic tools around to help you out. Tape, screwdrivers, and hammers can be useful when it comes to performing maintenance and minor household repairs.

When you need to call the professionals, it helps to know you have options to pay for your emergency home repairs. So plan ahead for those potential issues now and keep your home in good shape to save yourself stress and costs later.

Photo Credit: Pixabay

12 Ways to Set Up Your Kitchen for Healthy Eating

Making smart food choices is easier when your kitchen is part of your support team

As we move deeper into January, don’t get discouraged if you’ve slipped on your New Year’s resolutions to eat more healthfully or lose weight. Instead, make reaching those goals easier to accomplish by getting the right cooking and dining setup to form new habits. There are many things you or your designer can do in your kitchen to make it easier to choose healthy options. Here are some tips that can help you create new habits and stick to them.

10 Smart Organizing Tools for Getting Kids’ Spaces in Shape

Get ideas for corralling your children’s toys, books, clothes and art

Are your kids’ rooms bursting at the seams? Just as our waistlines feel the strain of a few too many holiday cookies, our homes (and especially the kids’ spaces) are likely to feel a bit overstuffed after the holiday gift season. While it’s important to remember to declutter before you organize, once you’ve pared back the old to make room for the new, getting a few smart systems in place will ensure that spaces look good long-term. Ahead are 10 simple but effective organizing tools, plus tips on how to use them.

Your Guide to Perfect Vanity Lighting

Follow this lighting expert’s list of do’s and don’ts to select the best light fixtures for your bathroom vanity

The stars of stage and screen spend a good deal of time at their dressing room vanities making sure they’re ready for the literal spotlight. Properly positioned vanity lights emit soft, diffuse light that reduces shadows and makes it easy for stars to look their best. While you may not be going onstage yourself, there’s no good excuse for poor vanity lighting. Read on to discover a list of lighting do’s and don’ts to become the star of your own bathroom.

32 Home Design Trends That Will Rule in 2019

Creamy cabinets, abstract kitchen islands, destination bathtubs, compact laundry hubs and more are in store for homes

If you’re looking to redecorate or renovate your home in 2019, you’ve come to the right place. We searched through Houzz data, browsed hundreds of home design photos, reread past articles and interviewed professional designers to bring you this collection of materials, colors and other home design ideas that you can expect to see a lot more of in 2019. Which will you bring home?

Is Clutter Holding You Back From Living Your Ideal Life?

Here are 7 ways clutter can bog you down, and 7 ways you can benefit from decluttering

Do you feel burdened by too many belongings? Is your desk piled high with papers, magazines and unpaid bills? If so, clutter may be holding you back from living the life you had envisioned for yourself.

As a professional home organizer, I’ve noticed that for many clients, decluttering provides greater benefits than mere visual appeal — it can relieve stress, improve relationships and more. Read on to learn about seven ways that clutter can hold you back as well as seven ways decluttering can improve your life. These aren’t just abstract concepts — these are all based on the work I’ve done with real people who were once overwhelmed by clutter.

Home Renovation Pros Paint a Bright Picture for the Rest of 2018

The Houzz Renovation Barometer for fourth quarter 2018 shows that wait times to work with a building firm have dropped

New data just out on the residential remodeling industry paints a rosy picture for firms in the industry. Firms expect business activity to rise during the final three months of 2018, the data shows. And homeowners may get some relief from long wait times to start their projects, as the average wait time for construction sector firms dropped to 4½ weeks from 6½ weeks during the previous three months.

“Home renovation professionals are clearly very upbeat about the year end, despite a number of challenges facing the industry today,” says Nino Sitchinava, principal economist at Houzz.

The data come from the Q4 2018 Houzz Renovation Barometer, which tracks residential renovation market expectations, project wait times and recent business activity. (Market expectations and business activity have been smoothed out to account for predictable seasonal fluctuations, while project wait times have not.) The Barometer is based on a quarterly survey of residential remodeling businesses with a profile on Houzz and garnered 1,750 responses. Read on to gain insights from what they said.

10 DIY carpet stain removal hacks for every type of spill

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